It’s estimated that 1.2 million people congested themselves in a five mile stretch in suburban Detroit on Woodward Avenue this year for the 2013 Dream Cruise, where Chevrolet was a major sponsor of the event. There was no shortage of Chevy’s presence, as it set up an exhibit on what’s known as the Birmingham triangle, displaying every performance car it currently and will soon offer. It also had a small squad of 2014 Silverado rescue vehicles, assisting stranded cruisers, should their jalopy suddenly have quit in action. But there was something missing: something new. Meanwhile, Ram took the initiative to unveil a new Rumble Bee Concept pickup truck. A good move, considering the amount of exposure.
This huge event, this rolling auto show, with every single attendee being an automotive enthusiast in some form or another, seems undervalued by automakers. A sponsorship is one thing, but debuting an alluring concept or even an all-new performance model would spark a huge conversation among passers by. Past SEMA concepts don’t count.
To put it in perspective, the 2013 North American International Auto Show managed to draw nearly 800,000 people during its public days, setting a new record for the show. That still dwarfs the amount of people who attended the Woodward Dream Cruise, which again, was well north of 1 million over the course of a single day. How are automakers not capitalizing on this audience?
At the same time, the 2013 Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance saw the unveiling of the Cadillac Elmiraj concept. It’s easy to see how GM could add more momentum to their brands, particularly for Chevrolet, with an unveiling or two at the Woodward Dream Cruise. Maybe next year.